5 Guys Burgers - WTF?!?!?!
First: If anyone thinks it's all that difficult to create & sell a franchised restaurant operation (I read they have over 450 U.S. units?!?!?!?), this place is proof positive that it doesn't require much (if any) culinary skill - just loads of PR, spin, investment money, smoke & mirrors.
Second, the success of this chain is one sad commentary on the state of American palettes. I love a good, simple meal as much as the next guy, but this joint leaves a lot to be desired on the actual product (vs. the spin).
Third, what the hell kind of burger joint only serves burgers WELL DONE?!?!? To me, that's like only being able to order a steak well done - totally lame. So here's what I experienced:
Their burgers look & taste pretty much EXACTLY like the burgers I grew up eating in Oklahoma and Kansas at home and/or at family get togethers, which is to say: Pan-fried, jagged edges, cooked into oblivion, iceberg lettuce, non-descript bun, with ketchup and mustard. I might suggest a more accurate business name: "5 Guys Trailerpark-style Burgers" NOTE: Although 5 Guys Burgers has a few more toppings, and has double patties, nothing else is different or better than the hometown offerings I remember.
FRIES: They do have fresh-cut fries, but that's a LOT of places; nothing special about that whatsoever.
AND SO... why are these guys successful? Who knows? Safe food? The right kind of grease? Most people don't know what a truly great burger is? Cheap pricing? Discuss...